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Parents Fund

The Parents Program is an ongoing campaign of the UW Foundation that raises money to support student projects that are beyond the capacity of basic instructional programs funded through the university's operating budget.

The Parents Program seeks to improve the quality of life and instruction for all UW-Madison students.

As a key support system for learning in all disciplines, the UW-Madison Libraries have benefited greatly from the Parents Fund in recent years. For example, the fund was used to enhance multiple aspects of the undergraduate experience in various campus libraries on campus, such as in College, Memorial, and Steenbock libraries.

  • Attractive reading areas were created for three heavily used collections.

  • The new Information Commons in Steenbock Library with more study space and a computer lab.

  • New chairs were purchased for group-study and quiet-study areas.

  • More plug-ins with campus network connections were added for laptop use, and several laptops were purchased for check-out by students.

  • The Open Book Cafe opened in College Library in 2003.

Since its inception in 1989, the Parents Fund has received $5.1 million from more than 109,000 parents.

To donate to the UW Foundation Parents Fund, which will again be supporting the UW-Madison Libraries in the coming year, make checks payable to "UW Foundation - Parents Fund" and send them to:

University of Wisconsin Foundation
P.O. Box 8860
Madison, WI 53708-8860

For more information, please contact Ben Strand by phone (608-265-6115) or e-mail.

Fund for Books

A $10,000 leadership gift from University Libraries Director Ken Frazier has created the Endowment for the Book through the UW Foundation.

Frazier notes that the gift "will help us continue celebrating books for a long time to come." The gift follows on the heels of the Friends campaign to recognize the acquisition of the UW-Madison’s six millionth volume and to renew an interest in books.

The income from the endowment will be used to purchase books, manuscripts and other scholarly research in all formats that support teaching and research at UW–Madison.

Gifts to the fund may be made by making checks out to "UW Foundation – Endowment for the Book" and mailing them to:

University of Wisconsin Foundation
P.O. Box 8860
Madison, WI 53708-8860

For more information, please contact Ben Strand by phone (608-265-6115) or e-mail.


We offer you the opportunity to participate in a new program to "Adopt-A-Book," in which a donor underwrites the costs of conserving a selected title in the UW–Madison Libraries. All of the titles chosen are of importance in research and teaching. The estimates for conservation treatment are based on consultation with several expert book conservators.

A special bookplate will record the name of the donor whose contribution made possible the conservation of the book. Following customary conservation practice, a record of volume condition and conservation treatments (with before and after images) will be preserved for each. The initial three titles all come from Special Collections in Memorial Library.

The first and earliest is an illustrated Venetian edition of 1490 of Petrarch's allegorical and lyrical poems, the Trionfi e Canzoniere. To ensure continued scholarly use of this incunable edition, conservation treatments including mending pages and edge damage, surface cleaning, and rebinding are in order. Estimate for such treatments : $1,000.

Several faculty members want their literature classes to examine dictionaries of historical significance, including Thomas Dyche's highly successful A Guide to the English Tongue (1792 edition). A thoroughly broken binding and torn pages make such use problematic. Estimate for appropriate conservation treatments: $750.

The hand-colored engravings in Elizabeth Blackwell's A Curious Herbal (1739) reflect both her botanical knowledge and the plants at the Chelsea Physick Garden on which they are based. That she wrote, drew, engraved and published these two volumes to help support her family while her husband was in debtors' prison adds to their significance. The pages are large; the volumes, thick; and the bindings, seriously compromised. As a result, estimates for conservation treatment are considerable—$2,000 per volume—but the return in terms of usability in the Special Collections reading room and seminar room will be considerable as well.  The volumes can then be used more safely, and perhaps made available world-wide as part of the UW Digital Collection.

Please send your check, made out to the "UW Foundation–Libraries," directly to:

Department of Special Collections
990 Memorial Library
University of Wisconsin
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706

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